Before the President decreed silk scarves are an acceptable alternative to face masks, Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, donned a different drape around her shoulders at the administration’s nightly press briefings.
Since her appointment on February 26, Dr. Birx has been setting a silky fashion trend as part of the 22-person team that makes up the Coronavirus Task Force.
Since her appointment on February 26, Dr. Birx has become the fashion favorite of the COVID task force and American’s can’t wait to see her “scarf du jour” artfully knotted around her shoulders.
Just last month, Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan wrote a story in praise of her lovely foulards. And more recently, an Instagram account has appeared chronicling each of the pretty silk squares.
The scarf account was created by Victoria Strout, a fashion-obsessed music marketing executive from Fort Worth.
The account known as @deborahbirxscarves has a simple format. Each post is populated with a slideshow offering various vantage points onto one of the doctor’s many scarves.
The captions are straightforward, providing the date of the scarf’s appearance and, if known, its label. “Me and a couple of friends would watch each press conference and talk about Dr. Birx’s latest scarf,” says Strout.
“So one Sunday afternoon I thought, You know what, I’m just going to compile all the screenshots I’ve taken on Instagram.”
So why does this all matter? Perhaps it’s because Dr. Birx’s affinity for scarves speaks to a collective nostalgia.
FLOTUS Jackie Kennedy sported her babushka-style head wrappings on weekends in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
A typical Dr. Birx look consists of a prim dress, hosiery, and a waist-cinching belt; she ties the whole look together with a literal bow via her silken scarf which elegantly gives a nod to history.